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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wildlife Photography - Polar Bears, Lord of the Arctic

The Polar bear is the largest living land carnivore, with adult males growing up to over 8 feet in length and some weighing close to one ton. It is immediately recognizable from the distinctive white color of its thick fur. The only unfurred parts of the body are the foot pads and the tip of its nose, which are black, revealing the dark color of the skin underneath the pelt. The neck of the Polar bear is longer than in other species of bears, and the elongated head has small ears. Polar bears have large strong limbs and huge forepaws which are used as paddles for swimming. The toes are not webbed, but are excellent for walking on snow as they bear non-retractable claws which dig into the snow like ice-picks.

Females are about half the size of males, although a pregnant female with stored fat can exceed 1,000 pounds in weight. Polar bear cubs weigh about 2 lbs at birth. They look similar in appearance to adults, though they have much thinner fur.

Polar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic on ice-covered waters, from Canada, to Norway, parts of the US, the former USSR and Greenland. The furthest south the Polar bears occur all year round is James Bay in Canada, which is about the same latitude as London. During the winter, when the ice extends further south, Polar bears move as far south as Newfoundland and into the northern Bering Sea.

Although Polar bears have no natural predators, male bears sometimes kill young cubs for food or to try and mate with their mothers. Another big threat to these endangered animals is the warming of the Arctic region and pack ice are forming later and later every year. Polar bears depend on the pack ice to hunt seals and the early ice melt is forcing them to spend more time and energy looking for food and finding fewer seals. They face an uncertain future as the sea ice melt faster and faster in the summer.

Photographing Polar bears is one of the most exciting thing a wildlife photographer can do. They have little fear of man and are highly curious. I have come face too face with them and they are large, powerful predators. Click here to see more Polar bears and other wildlife photos. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website to see more images from other wildlife shoots around the globe.

Canon Patents 45mm, 50mm, 60mm Prime Lens

Canon new patent 50mm f/1.4 lens

Egami, the Japanese Photography Blog has identified more patents filed by Canon, Japan. The patents refer to a number of lens designs : 50 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/1.2, 45mm f/1.6, 60mm f/1.8, and describe an apochromatic design that aims to reduce chromatic aberration. You can read the original article in Japanese here.

I expect Canon to release a new EF 50mm f/1.4 II lens some time in the not so distant future because the current model's design is over 10 years old and can take advantage of the newer coatings and material technologies found in some prime lenses today.  It is important to point out that Canon ranks in the top five of patent filings and most patents do not end up in a product that comes to market but rather it is a strategy for the company to stake their claim and deny their competitors from taking advantage of the new design or technology.

Patent description (machine translated) :

Patent Publication No. 2013-57802

  • 2013.3.28 Release Date
  • 2011.9.8 filing date

Example  Focal length        Fno.    Angle of view       Focus
One         51.7                 1.45                45.4             Floating rear focusing +
Two   51.7                  1.45               45.4              Fed whole
Three 51.7                  1.25               45.4              Floating rear focusing +
Four        51.7                 1.25                45.4              Fed whole
Five       45.0                  1.6                 51.4              Fed whole
Six          60.0                 1.85                39.7              Fed whole

In many large-diameter Gaussian secondary spectrum of axial chromatic aberration

  • This problem occurs when using glass and others with the same Abbe number, a lens that is different partial dispersion ratio
  • When used in a positive lens lanthanum flint glass small partial dispersion ratio
  • When used in a negative lens of flint glass titanium large partial dispersion ratio

Canon patent

  • Using a lens with a partial dispersion ratio appropriate correcting the axial chromatic aberration secondary spectrum
  • The concave lens surface adjacent to the aperture, coma aberration correction, the sagittal flare

Friday, March 29, 2013

Panasonic Filters Improve Low Light Performance

Panasonic has developed a unique technology that doubles the brightness of color photography, by using micro color splitters instead of conventional color filters in the image sensor. What makes this technology interesting is the camera's sensor does not need to be modified in any way and the material and manufacturing techniques required to make the new filters are the same ones in use today already. This means if Panasonic decides to put this invention into production, it can come to the market soon. You can view the video on YouTube to get more information.

The two photos above were taken using CCDs with the same sensitivity. The one on the right was taken with the color filter system used in nearly all digital cameras. The one on the left was taken with Panasonic's new micro color-splitting system.

Until now, image sensors have produced color pictures by using red, green, and blue filters for each pixel, but with that system, 50-70% of the light is lost.

"Here, color filters are not used. So light can be captured without loss, which enables us to achieve approximately double the sensitivity. In addition, this technology can be used regardless of whether the sensor is a CCD, CMOS, or BSI type. The device can also be manufactured using current semiconductor fabrication processes. It does not use special materials or processes."

This photo shows a cross section of the the new image sensor. The sensor uses two types of color splitters : red deflectors and blue deflectors.

The red and blue deflectors are arranged diagonally, with one of each for every four pixels. RGB values can be obtained by determining the intensity of light reaching each of the four pixels.

For example, if white light enters each pixel, pixels where it doesn't pass through a deflector receive unmodified white light. But in pixels with a red deflector, the light is split into red diffracted light and cyan non-diffracted light. And when white light passes through a blue deflector, it's split into blue diffracted light and yellow non-diffracted light. As a result, the pixel arrangement is cyan, white + red, white + blue, and yellow. The RGB values are then calculated using a processing technique designed specifically for mixed color signals.

To design the micro color splitters in this way, it is necessary to analyze optical phenomena such as reflection, refraction, and diffraction, in 3D. Analyzing various wavelengths of light for each form of micro color splitter requires high-speed computation, which hasn't been practical until now.

The design of these micro color splitters was achieved by using a new wave-optics analysis technology, which makes it possible to calculate reflection, refraction, and diffraction quickly and accurately.

"We have developed a completely new analysis method, called Babinet-BPM. Compared with the usual FDTD method, the computation speed is 325 times higher, but it only consumes 1/16 of the memory. This is the result of a three-hour calculation by the FDTD method. We achieved the same result in just 36.9 seconds."

"Here, we've used a two-deflector method. But various combinations are possible. For example, you could increase the S/N ratio by using four deflectors. You could use one combination for mobile applications, and another for security cameras. From now on, we'd like to shift the focus of our research to different systems for different applications."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Canon EOS-7D Mk II Prototype Camera

The Canon EOS-7D Mk II prototype camera was apparently spotted out in the field. The speculation of the specifications are as follows :

  • 21 MP APS-C sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (L : 50, H1 : 51200, H2 : 102400)
  • 10 fps burst rate
  • Video mode 30 / 60 fps
  • Full HD video with manual control
  • Single CF Card Slot
  • 19 all-cross type AF points
  • On chip phase detect pixels for liveview and AF tracking
  • 100% Viewfinder
  • LCD viewfinder with 1.04 million dots
  • 3.2″ LCD screen
  • GPS, WiFi
  • Heavier alloy body with improved weather sealing

If it turns out to be mostly accurate, it is not far from my earlier post on the upcoming EOS-7D Mk II specs. I hope the camera will come with 2 memory card slots and the GPS and WiFi will not be part of the features, especially in light of the vulnerability of WiFi enabled cameras. See my post on this subject. It is not unusual for Canon to have different prototype models for field testing. More rumors and information should leak out as the launch date for the much anticipated replacement to the EOS-7D camera approaches.

WiFi Enabled Cameras Vulnerable To Spying

Last month, at the hacker conference Shmoocon, two German security researchers, Daniel Mende and Pascal Turbing reported on findings that Internet-connected cameras can easily be exploited and turned into spy cams. The researchers were able to take advantage of a security flaw in the Canon EOS-1D X camera, stealing information sent to a network from the camera and taking complete control of the camera itself.

Unlike computer servers, cameras have no internal logs that would allow unauthorized accesses to be detected and / or discovered after the break in. The problem also extends to memory cards that add that type of connectivity to non-connected cameras.

Here is the two researchers' video presentation on YouTube detailing their findings and sharing tips on how to keep WiFi equipped cameras and network connections secure. Basically, it comes down to this simple advice : Use WEP. If you own a camera equipped with WiFi, use WEP. You are taking a risk if you are not.

Canon 600EX-RT and 430EX II Speedlite Technical Report

The Canon Camera Museum has published a technical paper on their Speedlite flashes. It makes a rather interesting read. Once in a while, their publications do shed some light on Canon's design and technology.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Photographer's Guide To Copyright

PhotoShelter and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has complied a nice guide for photographers to learn how to protect their photos from copyright infringement.

  • Discover your exclusive rights under the copyright laws
  • Learn how to secure your photos and prevent infringement
  • Get advice on how to register your work through the U.S. Copyright Office
  • Understand remedies to take if your works have been infringed upon 

You can view the guide here and see wildlife and travel photos taken from around the world on many photo shoots on my website.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i and SL-1 Owner's Manual

Click here to see a video of the EOS Rebel T5i/700D on YouTube. Read about the details on the Canon Professional Network website and see sample photos and the Instruction Manual can be downloaded from Canon.

Click here to see a video of the EOS Rebel SL-1/100D on YouTube. Read about the details on the Canon Professional Network website and see sample photos and the Instruction Manual can be downloaded from Canon.

Canon EF 100-400mm II to launch with EOS-7D II

The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS is one of my favorite lens in Canon's lineup and my pick for the best value in a wildlife zoom lens. You can read my review here.

Although the present lens is a top performer for me, it has been around since 1998 and can take advantage of some of the latest lens improvement technologies like new coatings and materials. In the past two years, Egami, the Japanese photography blog has turned up at least two new Canon patents pointing to a new EF 100-400mm lens but now it seems Canon may be ready to finally announce the replacement to this venerable zoom.

In light of Nikon's recently released 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S zoom lens, Canon is expected to release their EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L IS II lens about the same time as they announce the EOS-7D Mk II camera, perhaps some time in late Summer to early Autumn. The new lens will be heavier and more expensive, but less than 4 pounds and $3,000 respectively. I cannot wait for this combo to come out and will place my pre-order as soon as possible. Where is the EF 200-400mm f/4L 1.4X zoom? I have waited long enough, Canon. Hurry!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Canon EOS-7D and EF 100-400mm break record

Two of my favorite pieces of Canon equipment are at it again. The Canon EOS-7D (my pick for best value DSLR) and the EF 100-400mm (my pick for best value wildlife zoom) lens were used to create the highest pixel panorama photo of Machu Picchu, the United Nation's World Heritage site in Peru.

You may recall last month, the Canon EOS-7D camera and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lens were also used to create a 320 GB panorama photo of London, England. You can also visit my website to see photos taken with the same Canon equipment.

Jeff Cremer from Rainforest Expedition visited Peru’s Machu Picchu last year and took almost 2,000 photos using a Canon EOS-7D and a EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens. The whole process lasted almost two hours. The images were stitched together and the overall exercise required one and a half hour. The resulting image has a size of 297,500 x 87,500 pixels and a resolution of 16 Gigapixels. You can see the image and read about how it was done.

Canon Rebel T5i Worth The Upgrade?

Canon announced the EOS Rebel T5i/700D camera a few days ago. The price went up by $100 and $250 respectively for the body and body plus new lens kit. As far as I can tell, the following are the only differences between the Rebel T4i and the T5i.  

Major additions/changes of the Rebel T5i :

  • New Finish
  • 360° Rotation Mode Dial
  • Larger and Raised Icons on the Mode Dial
  • Addition of Scene Modeto the Mode Dial
  • Digital Zoom during Movie Recording
  • Real-time preview of creative filters in Live View
  • New 18-55mm STM Kit Lens
  • Slight Weight Increase (20.5 vs. 18.3 oz)

Canon seems to feel obliged to introduce a 'new' Rebel camera every year, much like an automobile manufacturer. They should be more judicious in playing this game because it may disappoint some people who bought the previous models and the Rebel line is Canon's bread and butter product. 

By naming the new Rebel camera T5i, it denotes some new technology and features not found in the T4i and thus worthy of the next designation up. Since the T5i/700D comes with only cosmetic and marginal improvements, maybe it should be called the Rebel T4i II.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Canon EOS-1V Camera and Fuji Velvia Film

Last June, there was a report claiming Fujifilm was planning to discontinue most of its venerable Velvia line of films, except for the 35mm and 120 format. It caused a near panic and film photographers stocked up on their favorite Fujifilm products, including yours truly since I am the proud owner of a Canon EOS-1V film camera.

It turns out the popular film, known for its excellent color saturation and image quality, will continue to be offered for sheet film photographers. However, some of the Velvia lines will be discontinued, the only Velvia 50 line to be dropped is the 5×7 format. This means 4×5 and 8×10 format Velvia 50 will continue to be available.

Fujifilm is giving its acclaimed film packaging a branding makeover. You can see the redesigned boxes and read about the rebranding in this translated article. It is hard to believe consumer digital photography has been around for only about 12 years and the world's first flexible photographic roll film was marketed by George Eastman in 1885. We have come a long way, baby.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Canon Big Megapixel Camera Announcement

Canon EOS-1 big megapixel camera project

Ever since Canon discontinued the EOS-1Ds Mk III camera over a year ago, they are left with no professional model with a 'big' megapixel sensor. Nikon has the D800, full frame megapixel cameras on the market, with the 36 MP sensor.

Now word is Canon may be ready to answer Nikon's 'dominance' of the megapixel world with the announcement of their own long rumored, megapixel camera project in the Autumn, with availability in camera stores by early 2014. We know there are Canon prototypes floating around out there with sensors ranging from 40 - 50 MP. Rumor is the upcoming EOS-7D Mk II will share some of the similar technologies with the new megapixel camera. This is in line with my reporting that the EOS-7D Mk II camera may morph into a baby EOS-1D X. See my earlier post on this topic. I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of the EOS-7D Mk II, perhaps in the second half of the year.

Wildlife Photography - Tiger Safari in India

I was planning to be in the jungles of India the next few weeks on a wildlife photo shoot, following in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book stories. Unfortunately, my sciatica has taken a turn for the worse after my return from the Maui photo shoot a couple of weeks ago so I have decided to cancel the Indian trip. The risk of any further injury from the long airplane and bumpy Jeep rides in the jungles is too great for me.

My Indian trip was to bring me to four national parks, two of them are close to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains and the other two are in Central India. The wildlife I hope to photograph in addition to the Bengal Tigers are Leopards, Indian Rhinos and Elephants, plus numerous other animals and bird species. India is one of the most interesting and last remaining countries to view and photograph Tigers. It is a land of controlled chaos, teaming with sights and sounds, plus a profusion of cultures and races. The country is also rich in history and tradition and I have fond memories of my last trip there.

I have to get over my sciatica soon because there are a few overseas photo shoots coming up for me in the summer. As soon as I get better, I will rebook my Indian tiger safari trip for a later date.

The Tiger is an iconic symbol of conservation. It is a heavily muscled, powerful predator that stalks and ambushes large prey, camouflaged by its stripy coat. Unlike other cats, Tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and streams during the heat of the day.  Nine different subspecies of this carnivore are recognized, three of which became extinct in the latter part of the 20th century : the Bali , Javan and Caspian Tigers. The remaining subspecies are the Siberian, South China, Sumatran, Indochinese, Malayan and Bengal Tigers. Their characteristic dark, vertical stripes patterning the body vary in their width, spacing, and length, and whether they are single or double stripes. The pattern and distribution of the stripes is unique to each Tiger. Poaching and habitat loss have occurred throughout much of the Tiger's range and is now severely threatening its survival; as land becomes rapidly developed to meet the increasing demands of the Asian population, Tiger populations become isolated in remaining fragments of wilderness and will ultimately die out.

The national parks in India are opened from November to June, although the best months to visit are between November to April. The temperatures in the earlier months are a bit more comfortable but to maximize sightings, March and April are the best, due to the very warm weather but May and June may be too hot for most visitors. Deer and other prey animals are forced to visit waterholes more often during the hotter months and this offers plenty of ambush opportunities for Tigers and photographers like myself.

It is truly a rare privilege for any photographer to come face to face with a Bengal Tiger in the wild. I came across this one year old cub on my last visit and we exchanged eye contact for a little while before he disappeared into the bush. It was a very memorable moment for me and I will cherish it for a very long time. You can visit my Tiger page on my website to see many exciting wildlife photos from India.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Canon DSLR Camera Comparisons

I have found a site that conveniently compares most of Canon's current lineup of DSLR and PowerShot cameras by their dimension, weight, burst rate, sensor size, megapixel and maximum JPG/RAW rate.

Click here for the above specs comparisons. Click here for the camera back view comparisons.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS camera

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland 21 March 2013 – Canon today unveils two new powerful PowerShot SX models – the compact and versatile PowerShot SX280 HS and PowerShot SX270 HS. Combining Canon’s brand new DIGIC 6 image processing technology with a 20x optical zoom, these models are the ideal travel companions for recording everything from panoramic landscapes to family holidays, in stunning detail and Full HD 60p video. Shooting and sharing high-quality images on the move is also easy with the PowerShot SX280 HS’s integrated Wi-Fi function, allowing instant connectivity with other devices such as tablets, PCs or smartphones.

Incredible performance with DIGIC 6

At the heart of both models is Canon’s next generation DIGIC 6 image processor, enabling the capture of outstanding images in even the lowest of light conditions, as well as realistically smooth, Full HD movies at up to 60fps. Whether at a party or under moonlight, new DIGIC 6 ensures pictures are low on noise and perfectly-exposed, with up to 30 per cent more detail captured than the models’ predecessors, without the need to use a flash or tripod.

The HS System pairs the new DIGIC 6 processor with a 12.1 Megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor to deliver exceptional images in low light, with minimal blur and noise, as well as wide dynamic range – perfect for capturing shadowy detail as the sun sets on holiday. Using the DIGIC 6 processor and HS System, users can enjoy shooting with incredible ISO sensitivity, up to ISO 6400, with outstanding results.

Using DIGIC 6, movies are recorded in the widely-compatible MP4 format, and can be played on a range of portable devices – providing the ability to share recordings quickly and easily with family and friends, without the need for lengthy file conversions.

Get closer to the action with super zoom

The PowerShot SX280 HS and PowerShot SX270 HS are ideal for every precious family and holiday moment, thanks to the 25mm wide-angle 20x optical zoom Canon lens with a 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer (IS). ZoomPlus technology even digitally extends the reach of the zoom to 40x whilst maintaining crisp, detailed, high-quality resolution, allowing users to get even closer to the action whilst maintaining a discrete distance.

Keep track of your travels; sharing made easy

The PowerShot SX280 HS’s Wi-Fi function allows users to share their most memorable moments with friends and family by transmitting their stunning images to social networks, connected devices, or the internet for online back-up.

Ideal for travellers who wish to track their route effortlessly, or remember the exact location of a perfect shot, the PowerShot SX280 HS’s inbuilt GPS automatically tags each picture or movie with the local time and pinpoints the location in which it was taken. The integrated GPS logger function tracks the location of the camera at regular intervals on a journey, while A-GPS functionality uses Wi-Fi to quickly download additional Assisted GPS data, which greatly decreases the time to acquire a satellite signal.

Switch from stills to movies with Full HD capture

Users can quickly switch from still images to movies to record action in Full HD quality (1920x1080p) with stereo sound. Advanced 60p recording allows a new level of movie performance, with the ability to capture fast paced action with improved smoothness across the whole scene. Fine Detail Movie Processing technology (30 fps) offers incredible detail, while DIGIC 6 offers enhanced noise processing in Full HD movies (30fps), allowing users to capture every moment.

The huge 20x optical zoom can also be used whilst filming. Movies shot on the move are kept crisp and blur-free thanks to the latest version of Intelligent IS, which features an enhanced Dynamic IS mode. The improved mode employs a five-axis Image Stabilizer, correcting a range of additional types of camera shake, including rotational and parallel shake – a typical occurrence when filming whilst walking - for even smoother footage.

Whether on a family holiday or the trip of a lifetime, travellers can easily frame and review their recordings on the bright 7.5 cm (3.0”) PureColor II G LCD screen with approximately 461,000 dots. A tempered glass layer provides additional strength and protection, and high contrast also combines with Quick Bright technology to make the display perfect for movie playback in bright sunlight.

Capture every moment creatively

The PowerShot SX280 HS and PowerShot SX270 HS make it easy to point and shoot with confidence, offering Canon’s acclaimed Smart Auto mode which detects up to 58 different scenes to determine the most appropriate settings to achieve the best possible result.

Combining creative flexibility with high quality images, both the PowerShot SX280 HS and PowerShot SX270 HS feature new Hybrid Auto mode which records the four seconds before every shot in 720p resolution, before using Smart Auto to determine the best settings to capture the perfect shot. At the end of each day, the four-second clips are merged into one to tell the “behind-the-scenes” story of the day’s images. Stills can also be transformed by using one of seven different Creative Filters, including Fish-eye Effect and Miniature Effect.

More ambitious and experienced photographers, or those wanting to develop their photography skills, can also take complete control of their camera settings. Using the range of more advanced modes, including Tv and Av modes to control shutter speed and aperture, or full manual mode to control all settings, users can explore their creativity and improve their knowledge with these powerful, compact cameras.

PowerShot SX280 HS – key features :

  • 20x zoom, 25mm lens
  • HS System: 12.1 MP CMOS, DIGIC 6
  • Intelligent IS, Enhanced Dynamic IS
  • Wi-Fi
  • Full HD (60fps)
  • 7.5 cm (3.0") PureColor II G LCD
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Hybrid Auto; Smart Auto
  • Manual, Av and Tv modes
  • High-speed shooting. Optional Waterproof Case
  • $330, availability in April 2013

PowerShot SX270 HS – key features :

  • 20x zoom, 25mm wide lens
  • HS System: 12.1 MP CMOS, DIGIC 6
  • Intelligent IS, Enhanced Dynamic IS
  • Full HD (60fps)
  • 7.5 cm (3.0") PureColor II G LCD
  • Hybrid Auto; Smart Auto
  • Manual, Av and Tv modes
  • High-speed shooting
  • Optional 40m Waterproof Case
  • $300, availability in April 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D camera announced

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D Camera Highlights

  • STM Lens Support for Quiet AF in Movies
  • 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch Screen LCD
  • ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600
  • Full HD 1080 Video with Continuous AF
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • 9-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction
  • Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
  • $750 body ; $900 with EF 18-55mm IS STM ; $1,099 with EF 18-135mm IS STM
  • Availablility starting in April, 2013

Click here to see a video of the camera on YouTube. Read about the details on the Canon Professional Network website and see sample photos and the Instruction Manual can be downloaded from Canon.

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 21, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to introduce a new flagship model to its popular EOS Rebel line, the EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera. The incredible image quality and performance starts with an 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and Canon’s superb DIGIC 5 Image Processor. Combined with an extensive ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode), the EOS Rebel T5i boasts crisp, detailed images, even in low-light conditions. With a continuous shooting speed of up to 5.0 frames per second (fps) united with 9 all cross-type AF focus points, the new EOS Rebel T5i allows photographers the opportunity to shoot with ease, even in challenging shooting situations.

When shooting in Live View mode, the Hybrid CMOS AF system enables speedy and accurate autofocus for photos and video. Coupled with Canon’s new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, available in the standard kit lens bundle, the EOS Rebel T5i takes full advantage of the Stepping Motor (STM) technology, which allows the lens to smoothly and silently focus on the subject whether it is moving or standing still. When combined with the camera’s high-resolution Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II and intuitive touch controls, the EOS Rebel T5i stands as Canon’s most “consumer-friendly” DSLR.

“Built to make advanced photography creative and fun, the EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Camera gives users exceptional image quality and fast, intuitive operation along with creative functions to help advance photographic expression,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

Expand Your Creativity with New Advanced Features

The EOS Rebel T5i provides amateur and advanced photographers looking to hone their creative and technical skills with a range of features that allow for crisp, clear images.

Whether it is adding saturation to a vivid landscape or applying a unique, vintage touch to a portrait, users who want to express their creativity can experiment with different effects and settings, composing a shot, by using one of Canon’s seven Creative Filters. When the Creative Filters are applied in Live View, users can preview the filter on the vari-angle three inch LCD touch screen without having to shoot the image first. Effects such as ArtBold, Water Painting, Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Toy Camera, Fish-Eye and Miniature let users pick and choose how to best express their creative vision before or after the image is captured.

The EOS Rebel T5i features advanced shooting modes to take creative imaging even further. When using one of the advanced shooting modes such as Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control or Multi-Shot Noise Reduction, multiple images are taken and combined within the camera to help create the best quality image based off of the shots taken. Providing quick and easy accessibility, a new mode dial with Scene modes has been included, allowing users the flexibility to select the subject matter while the camera determines the optimal settings.

Enhanced EOS Full HD Movie Mode

The EOS Rebel T5i offers easy-to-use professional video capture. When users switch to EOS Full HD Movie mode, the EOS Rebel T5i offers the ability to shoot in 1080p Full HD video in a number of recording sizes and frame rates. With Canon’s Hybrid CMOS AF System and Movie Servo AF, the camera provides continuous AF for focus tracking of moving subjects by helping to reduce the camera’s need to “hunt”, resulting in a quick and smooth continuous AF. While shooting with one of Canon’s Stepping Motor (STM) lenses, such as the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, the camera will only capture the stereo sound of the scene being recorded. For added flexibility, the EOS Rebel T5i also features a built-in stereo microphone with manual audio level adjustment to enhance sound quality.

Expanded Lineup of STM Lenses

Canon is expanding the lineup of STM lenses by adding one new lens, which now gives users three choices that will allow for the capture of stunning images and video with the EOS Rebel T5i – the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM and the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens offers high magnification in a compact and lightweight EF-S standard zoom lens with an optical image stabilizer for up to four equivalent stops for shake correction. When paired with the Hybrid CMOS AF, it allows for smooth and quiet, continuous AF for photo and video capturing – making it the perfect combination for preserving those once in a lifetime moments.


The EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price of $749.99 for the body alone; $899.99 bundled with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit, and $1,099.00 with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit.

The new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens also is also scheduled to be available separately in April at an estimated retail price of $249.99

Canon EOS Rebel SL-1 camera announced

Canon EOS Rebel SL-1/100D Camera Highlights :

  • 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 3.0″ Clear View II Touchscreen LCD
  • ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600
  • Full HD 1080 Video with Continuous AF
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • 9-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Scene Intelligent Auto Mode
  • Compact and Lightweight; Weighs 0.8lb
  • Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
  • $650 body ; $800 with EF 18-55mm IS STM lens kit
  • Availability starting in April 2013

Click here to see a video of the camera on YouTube. Read about the details on the Canon Professional Network website and see sample photos and the Instruction Manual can be downloaded from Canon.

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 21, 2013 – Continuing the quest to deliver superb product innovations, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR camera : the EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera. It features a newly developed 18.0-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and high-performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality and speed. With its combination of lightweight size, ease of use and outstanding image quality, the EOS Rebel SL1 is perfect for users looking for the ideal camera to bring sightseeing on vacation or to capture the everyday.

“The EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera represents a new era in DSLR versatility: ultra-portable, full-featured DSLR cameras,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “The EOS Rebel SL1 combines the high speed, high image quality and expanded shooting range of a DSLR camera, with the easy and fun usability of a point-and-shoot camera.”

Advanced Image Quality in a Compact Body

As the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR, the new camera body is 4.6″ (w) x 3.57″ (h) x 2.74″ (d), and weighs only 14.36 oz. In comparison, the EOS Rebel SL1 is approximately 25 percent smaller and 28 percent lighter than the EOS Rebel T4i digital camera.

The EOS Rebel SL1 features an 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor that performs exceptionally well in both bright and dimly lit shooting environments with an ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600) for photos and ISO-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for video. Canon’s DIGIC 5 Image Processor technology allows for exceptional image quality and shooting speed up to four frames per second (fps).

The camera includes a new nine-point center cross-type autofocus (AF) system to help achieve fast, sharp focus. The new AF system also includes a new Hybrid CMOS AF II sensor, which provides a wider focus area when shooting photos or video in Live View mode, and a continuous AF speed that’s increased from previous EOS models.

To help capture video with ease, the EOS Rebel SL1 features Canon’s Movie Servo AF, which provides continuous AF tracking of moving subjects. When shooting video with one of Canon’s new STM lenses, such as the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (available in the standard lens kit), Movie Servo AF takes advantage of the lens’ stepping motor for smooth and quiet continuous AF. The camera is capable of Full HD shooting in a number of recording sizes and frame rates, and enables easy manual control of exposure, focus and Live View features. The combination of Canon’s new Hybrid CMOS AF system II and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is ideal for shooting video helping to ensure only the sounds of the scene are recorded.

Allowing for clear and easy viewing even in bright environments, the Touch Screen three inch Clear View LCD monitor II provides a rich and expansive display as well as providing intuitive touch panel operation. Two finger touch gestures (multi-touch) can be easily used for zooming or changing images, accessing menu and quick control settings, and activating focus point and shutter release while shooting.

Creativity at your Fingertips

The EOS Rebel SL1 encourages users to explore their creative side with a wide array of features for convenience and simple shooting. The EOS Rebel SL1 is equipped with Scene Intelligent Auto Mode, an advanced function that detects faces, colors, brightness, movement, contrast, distance and other factors and automatically adjusts and selects the exposure method needed. The results are photos with a wide dynamic range, ideal for users without advanced photography knowledge or experience.

Users can also access advanced imaging features like the new Effect Shot mode, which automatically creates two different shots, one with a selected creative filter and one without. In addition, Creative Filters and Background Blur Simulation can now be displayed in real time during Live View shooting. Editing photos is also a snap with the Rebel SL1′s in-camera editing and cropping functionality. This feature allows users to view and crop the image using the camera’s LCD touch screen and save the edited version as a separate file.

For those who would like to take beautiful photos with ease, the EOS Rebel SL1 offers a variety of scene modes to explore. New special scene modes include Kids, Food and Candlelight, giving users advanced presets to help ensure the best possible photos even under difficult shooting conditions.

Pricing and Availability

The new EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price of $649.99 for the body alone or $799.99 bundled with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Canon EOS-70D with Digic 6 and 18 MP sensor

Canon EOS-70D DSLR camera

View the latest post on the Canon EOS-7D Mk II here.

The Canon EOS-70D will not be announced during Canon's product event on March 22. Instead it will most probably be introduced in April together with one new EF lens. It may be powered by the DIGIC 6 processor and comes with a new 18 MP sensor, found in the EOS Rebel T5i camera. The upcoming 70D may contain the following features :

  • 18 MP sensor, similar to the one in Rebel T5i
  • All-cross type 19-points AF system
  • 6 - 7 fps burst rate
  • ISO 100 - 25600 expanded
  • Powered by the DIGIC 6 processor
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • Capacity touch screen, similar to the Rebel T5i and SL-1
  • Creative filters with Live Preview
  • Some WiFi capability, similar to EOS-6D

However, Canon is expected to announce the following new cameras during the run up to their March 22 launch event. Keep checking back. The news and rumors are coming fast.

  •     Canon EOS SL1 (100D, X7)
  •     Canon EOS Rebel T5i (700D, X7i)
  •     Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

PowerShot Line
  •     Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
  •     Canon PowerShot SX270 HS
  •     Canon PowerShot A2500
  •     Canon PowerShot IXUS 255 HS

Canon EOS-5D Mk III and EOS-6D deals

The Canon EOS-5D Mk III and EOS-6D cameras are selling for $2,925 and $1,650 respectively from a top rated eBay retailer. These are new US models and includes free shipping within the United States.

These are excellent prices and for those who would like to buy the EOS-5D Mk III but perhaps a bit short of money, look into buying the factory refurbished models from Canon instead. Please read my earlier post on buying refurbished equipment.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Canon EOS-1D X camera for $6,729 shipped

The incomparable Canon EOS-1D X full frame DSLR camera

My pick for the best full frame, DSLR camera (price independent) on the market today is selling for $6,729 from a reputable, large New York based camera retailer and includes free shipping in the United States. I have been using the EOS-1D X for about eight months now and am still enamored of its performance. You can read my review of the camera here and see the full specifications of the camera on Canon's website.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D camera

Apparently, the other DSLR camera waiting to be announced next is the EOS Rebel T5i/700D. No word on the EOS-70D. If Canon is not announcing their answer to the Nikon D7100 very soon, it will give their competition a head start again. Judging from the initial specs of the Rebel T5i, it gives me little excitement. If Canon keeps introducing new EOS Rebel models rapidly but with little, real improvement to the technology, they run the risk of alienating the people who upgraded recently.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D specifications :  

  •  18 million pixel APS-C sensor
  •  Digic 5 processor
  •  AF is 9-point, all cross-point sensor
  •  1.04 million dot LCD monitor wide-3.0, Vari-Angle, touch panel
  •  5 fps continuous shooting 
  •  Full HD video
  •  30-1/4000 seconds shutter speed, flash sync is 1/200 sec
  •  ISO range 100 - 12800, 25600 extended
  •  Seven Creative Filters
  •  SD / SDHC / SDXC media (corresponding UHS-I)
  •  Battery LP-E8
  •  Weight (including battery and memory card) 580g
  •  Available around May 2013
  •  Expected price, around $900 - $1,000
  •  Comes with the kit lens EF-S 18-55mm IS STM or EF-S 18-135mm IS STM

Canon EOS-100D - the new, smaller DSLR camera

Canon EOS-B - the new, smaller DSLR camera

The rumored, smaller Canon DSLR is finally revealed. See my earlier post on this topic. The camera is called the EOS-100D and will be available with the EF 18-55mm IS STM kit. The information I posted earlier was close to what is being released now by a Japanese website. You can see the article here in Japanese.

Likely EOS-100D Specifications :

  • Sensor Resolution :  APS-C 18.1 MP  
  • ISO Sensitivity :  100 - 25600
  • Processor :  DIGIC 5+ 
  • Battery :  LP-E12
  • Recording Media :  One SDXC slot
  • Rear Screen :  3 inch LCD
  • Viewfinder : approximately 0.87X 
  • Auto Focus : 9 cross-type AF points
  • Burst Rate :  4 fps
  • Cycle Count :  100,000
  • Weight and Dimension :  3.6 x 4.6 x 2.7 @ 13.1 ounces
  • List price :  $799, available around late May  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nikon D7100 vs. Canon EOS-70D

View the latest post of the EOS-7D Mk II here.

Nikon announced their D7100 camera a few weeks ago and now it is in stock at some of the larger camera stores. A mid range, cropped frame camera for 'advanced enthusiasts' and is the flagship of their DX format DSLR lineup. The list price is $1,200 for the body and $1,600 when bundled with a 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

Nikon D7100 key features :
  • 24.1MP DX format CMOS sensor, with no OLPF
  • EXPEED 3 processing
  • ISO 100-6400 standard, up to 25600 expanded
  • Max 6 fps continuous shooting in DX mode, 7 fps in 1.3X crop mode
  • 51 point AF system, 15 sensors cross type
  • 2016 pixel RGB metering sensor
  • Two SD memory card slots
  • Spot white balance in live view mode
  • 1080 60i/30p video recording, built-in stereo mic, mic jack and audio monitoring jack
  • Pentaprism with 100% coverage and 0.94X magnification
  • 3.2", 1.2m-dot LCD screen (640 x 480 X RGBW)
  • Front and rear IR receivers
  • Equivalent water and dust resistance to D800/D300S

On paper, this looks like an impressive camera and a very good value. Now we are waiting for Canon's answer to the Nikon D7100 and announce its EOS-70D, perhaps next week during a product event they have been sending invitations out to dealers and the press to attend.

Please read my earlier post on the Canon EOS-70D.  We may have some more rumors soon. My guess is Canon may equip the upcoming 70D with the following features :

  • 18 MP sensor, similar to the one in Rebel T5i
  • All-cross type 19-points AF system
  • 6 - 7 fps burst rate
  • ISO 100 - 25600 expanded
  • Powered by the DIGIC 6 processor
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • Capacity touch screen, similar to the Rebel T5i and SL-1
  • Creative filters with Live Preview
  • Some WiFi capability, similar to EOS-6D

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS camera

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

The new Canon PowerShot SX280 HS camera is expected to be officially announced very soon. It will be powered by the Digic 6 processor and comes with built-in WiFi capability . Canon has a 'strange' way of introducing their new technology. Instead of putting the new stuff on their top-of-the-line cameras like the EOS-1 bodies, they start them off on their lower end products. The Canon technicians informed me this is their way of making sure all the bugs and kinks will be worked out in the marketplace before they put the new technology on their flagship cameras.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Canon New EOS-100D Detailed Specs

View the latest post on the EOS Rebel T5i/700D camera here.

The rumored small DSLR from Canon has taken on some more details. Apparently called the EOS-100D, it will be lighter than the EOS Rebel T4i by about 5 ounces. The suggested retail price with a EF 18-55mm zoom lens kit will be comparable to the Rebel as well.

Likely EOS-100D Specifications :

  • Sensor Resolution :  APS-C 18.1 MP  
  • ISO Sensitivity :  100 - 25600
  • Processor :  DIGIC 5+ 
  • Recording Media :  One SDXC slot
  • Rear Screen :  3 inch LCD
  • Viewfinder : approximately 0.87X 
  • Auto Focus : 9 cross-type AF points
  • Burst Rate :  4 fps
  • Cycle Count :  100,000
  • Weight and Dimension :  3.6 x 4.6 x 2.7 @ 13.1 ounces
  • List price :  $799  

Nothing is confirmed as of right now but I should get more information soon. Keep checking back.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Canon New, Small EOS-100D DSLR?

See the latest post on the small, EOS-100D here.

A rumor has surfaced that Canon may announce the new, small DSLR (mentioned in my earlier post) next week during their product launch event on March 22. The new camera may be called the EOS-100D and the price will be comparable to the Rebel line and more expensive than the high end PowerShot cameras.

If true, this means Canon will be announcing two new DSLRs next week because the EOS-70D is widely expected to debut as well. I hope to get more information soon.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Canon refurbished EOS-5D Mk III for $2,380

The camera I have picked as the best value in full frame DSLR photography is on sale at the Canon Refurbished Store. It is such a good deal I am buying one myself even though I have 4 full frame cameras already. Take a look at my earlier post on purchasing refurbished equipment.

Hurry, this deal won't last and the price includes free shipping in the United States.

Canon TS-E 45mm and TS-E 90mm Replacement

Canon TS-E 45mm tile-shift lens

The Canon TS-E 45mm and TS-E 90mm tilt-shift lens have been out for many years and may be replaced some time this year, perhaps by an "L" upgrade, according to some rumors. If true, they will join the TS-E 17mm f/4L and TS-E 24mm f/3.5L to give Canon a full range of high end, tilt-shift lens on the market.

There is also an invitation from Canon to the press for a March 22 product launch. We may get an announcement on the EOS-70D then plus a new PowerShot camera and perhaps even a wide zoom answer to the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AFS lens. More leaks should come out as the event draws nearer.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Canon Announces Live Learning Educational Events

I have written a few articles with tips on wildlife photography and watching, gathered from years of experience going on photo shoots. You can read them here on my website and a FAQ section on equipment.  Please feel free to contact me for any further information or questions. Now Canon USA is offering some Live Learning classes in various cities. The classes are NOT free and below is an excerpt of their press release. The full release is here.

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 14, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the 2013 Canon Live Learning (CLL) workshops and programs schedule. The on-site education program, now in its fourth year, is aimed at helping both advanced imaging enthusiasts and professionals elevate their knowledge of photography, filmmaking, and the technologies within Canon’s professional imaging and printing devices. CLL programs feature the EOS Immersion Seminars, EOS Destination Workshops, and Canon Professional Development Seminars and Workshops. Each of the programs offer an educational experience that will provide informative classes and hands-on instruction by a number of imaging professionals including Canon’s Explorers of Light (EOL).

“The Canon Live Learning program is an example of the emphasis Canon puts not only on the quality of its products, but also on the importance of educating customers so they maximize their imaging experience,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “The goal of these educational programs is to empower our customers to expand their creative visions.”

CLL programs are available throughout the United States and, as in previous years, the 2013 EOS Immersion series of seminars and workshops will be presented in a weekend format with the EOS Immersion Seminar on Saturday, followed by the choice of two EOS Immersion Workshops on the following Sunday. The EOS Immersion Workshop hosts participants in a studio setting where they will be taught photographic and HD Video techniques, and where they are encouraged to try Canon’s latest EOS equipment, and accessories in order to gain a greater knowledge of Canon’s imaging products.

Canon representatives will be on-hand to provide technical assistance at all CLL events to help ensure that any questions and concerns can be answered accurately and immediately. For more information on CLL, including the schedule of classes and pricing information, visit

In 2013, the first half of the Canon EOS Immersion series is currently set to be held in the following cities:

Location                                Dates
Los Angeles, CA                March 23rd – March 24th
Boston, MA                        April 20th – April 21st
Seattle, Wash.                        May 18th – May 19th
New York, NY                        June 8th – June 9th

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Canon's New Rebel Camera?

The Canon EOS-70D is expected to be officially announced next week. See my earlier post on this topic. The rumor about a new line of smaller DSLR from Canon has also sparked new speculations on their possible specifications. However, the upcoming new Rebel camera may have the following specs.

New, EOS Rebel specifications :

  • 18 MP APS-C sensor (same as the EOS M and EOS 650D)
  • DIGIC 5
  • Touchscreen similar to the EOS-M
  • 9 AF points
  • A new hybrid CMOS auto-focus
  • 98% viewfinder
  • 6 fps
  • ISO up to 25,600
  • EF and EF-S lens support
  • HD video

These are very early days for speculating on any possible new line of smaller DSLR to perhaps replace the EOS-M and complement the Canon Rebel line but Canon better make sure any new consumer grade cameras they offer from now on does not share the AF capability of the much criticized EOS-M.

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS II and EF 800mm f/5.6L IS II

Canon EF line of primes, telephotos and super telephoto lenses

Canon's Series II Super Telephoto lens have been out for about a year now. They have gained a lot of experience in engineering and material production of these new models. However, there are two lenses in Canon's super telephoto lineup that have not been utilizing the new technology and material, namely the EF 200mm f/2L IS and the EF 800mm f/5.6L IS.

There are reports the inventory of these two lenses are sporadic to low. Since the production run of these expensive lens are small, Canon plans ahead of time to make sure there are no excessive inventory left over when they introduce the Series II versions. This is not a guarantee that the EF 200mm and EF 800mm will be replaced but there is a good chance they will once Canon officially releases the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X super telephoto lens, probably at the beginning of the second half of 2013. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Canon EOS-1D X Manuals On LCD Screen

The incomparable Canon EOS-1D X full frame DSLR camera

I just came back from a Humpback whale photo shoot in Maui, Hawaii. The equipment that did the yoeman's work for me are the EOS-1D X, EOS-1D Mk IV, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lenses.

The EOS-1D X in particular was simply fantastic with its lighting AF lock and 12 fps burst rate. The lighting was mostly good so I did not have to use ISO higher than 400. I went out in zodiacs and the water spray from the waves got the cameras and lenses all wet but they held up very well.

It is now about 6 months since I bought the EOS-1D X. It has gone through quite a few rigorous photo shoots in Alaska, Canada and Europe and proven its worth. The camera is a complicated piece of technology and fortunately most of the manuals are available in videos so one can download them in the camera and view on the LCD screen. That is very cool. You can read my review of the camera and read my blog postings to follow my travels. Download the tutorials from Canon here. There are many topics to choose from.

New DSLR Line From Canon?

There are rumors floating around that Canon is working on a new DSLR line of camera that is smaller than the current EOS Rebel line and may replace or augment the less than stellar EOS-M line of mirrorless cameras.

This is a distinct possibility because the current EOS-M line is not living up to Canon's expectations right now and a new, smaller DSLR will be aiming for the same market segment as the current EOS-M buyers, namely people who want some DSLR features but without the heavier weight or the higher costs. The challenge is the new camera, if introduced, must work with the current EF and EF-S line of lenses and have fast and accurate AF capability and comes with perhaps an electronic viewfinder.